This Is What the $300K Cadillac Celestiq Electric Sedan Will Look Like
Cadillac has taken a bold leap in the design of the Celestiq, a vehicle set to mark a new dawn for the company.
Cadillac has revealed its Celestiq show car, with the luxury electric sedan intended to be the brand's future flagship four-door. It joins the new Cadillac Lyriq in ushering in an all-electric future for the storied brand, and best of all, serves as a preview for an upcoming production model expected for release in the next few years.
The Celestiq comes at a time of change for the brand. It's intended to herald in the electric era, while also harkening back to the brand's well-established heritage. It's set to be hand-built, too, with GM investing $81 million into these efforts alone.
Designers working on the Celestiq drew heavily from Cadillac's history. Flagship models from the brand's history provided inspiration, from the company's early V16-powered prewar sedans to the legendary 1957 Eldorado Brougham. "These vehicles represented the pinnacle of luxury in their respective eras," said Tony Roma, chief engineer on the Celestiq project.
The Celestiq is a four-door sedan "because the configuration offers the very best luxury experience" according to Roma. It's based on GM's Ultium EV architecture, using similar drivetrain technology to the GMC Hummer EV and the upcoming Chevrolet Silverado EV.
The show car's aesthetic is hyper-modern. Slashes of LED lighting serve as headlights and tails, and illuminated badges glow from within. The car rides on turbine-like wheels, and it's got a pseudo-liftback shape similar to the upcoming Hyundai Ioniq 6. The side skirts sweep up into muscular haunches, giving the Celestiq a purposeful wide stance.
Touches of Cadillac history are visible throughout the design. The Cadillac Goddess motif of yesteryear can be seen in the center console scroll wheel as well as on the front fender trims. The broader aesthetic hints at an Art Deco revival, too, but kept sharp with the cutting-edge lighting design.
Technology is a cornerstone of the Celestiq show car. The lush red interior of the show car features five high-resolution LED displays. The biggest measures a full 55 inches diagonal, with the ultrawide screen stretching across the whole dashboard. It's complete with special "digital blinds" that allow the passenger to watch video while blocking it from the driver's view to avoid distraction.
The all-glass roof is high-tech as well, made using variable-transmission Smart Glass. This consists of a special layer of suspended particles in between two layers of glass. When a current is applied, the particles line up and light can pass through. When switched off, the particles arrange themselves randomly, and the panel turns opaque. The roof is set up with four separate zones so each passenger can choose their own amount of light or shade as desired.
Cadillac also plans to offer Ultra Cruise on the Celestiq. It's GM's next-generation hands-free driver assist technology, following on from the company's existing Super Cruise offering. Ultra Cruise promises "door-to-door" hands-free driving, including in residential neighborhoods, but isn't slated for release until 2023 at the earliest.
Companies drop concept cars with wild looks all the time, only to disappoint us with a tame production model down the track. However, a Cadillac spokesperson indicated to The Drive that the Celestiq as seen here is a "precursor" to the production model. Some changes are expected, but we're told the real thing will be "quite similar" in both design and technology.
The Celestiq shows that the company isn't afraid to move with the times. It's found a way to create an aesthetic that's ahead of the curve while remaining undeniably a Cadillac at heart. It's combined with what should be a capable electric powertrain, to boot. The Celestiq could just become the luxury sedan to have when it's released in a few years' time.
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